Sam has always dreamed of a life away from the close-knit world of Tucker's Landing, but marriage and fatherhood ended all that. Now Sam is torn between what was and what was meant to be. He must decide if it's time to rekindle the dreams of the past ... or accept Alli, and her love, just the way she is.
Don't miss this heartwrenching tale of a man torn between two sisters, the one he loved, the one he married ..."
*May Contain Spoilers*
Barbara Freethy's novel, Just the Way You Are, stole my heart and my full box of tissues. It was an absolute great vacation read and I couldn't put it down, even with the beach calling my name. Freethy's writing style had me laughing, crying, sniffling, smiling, and frowning. My heart was at odds with itself because I wasn't sure which sister I wanted to win Sam. (Who is an exceptionally great character!)
He's the kind of guy who puts others needs before his own. He accepts responsibility, doesn't look to change his past, and loves his daughter with all that he is. It was refreshing how Sam didn't have the answers for Tessa and Alli. He acted on his own feelings but still allowed the sisters to figure out how they really felt without his input.
After halfway through I knew how I wanted the story to end, but sometimes they don't go the way you imagine, which forced me to keep reading. Tricky author... But, goodness, was it worth it? YES!
Readers can connect with either of the sisters and this gives the reader a chance to root for the sister they want to win. And what exactly they want to win. Because, in the middle, what each sister should get and what she wants become two different things.
Alli is the younger sister, a great mom who never gives up, always remains calm, handles emergencies well, and is head over heels in love with her husband. But she's taking the high road and giving Sam a divorce that she thinks he wants. Mainly because, Tessa (older sister who seems to have it all) has always been between them. At least, Alli thinks so. And Sam doesn't exactly contradict her. Afterall, Sam and Tessa were high school sweet hearts.
But the past is the past. It can't be changed. And the present doesn't abide by the same rules. So it's up to Alli, Sam, and Tessa to realize what they want and go after it. Even if it does bring about an oyster being chucked at someone's head.
rating: 5/5 cups